Hey everyone, thank you for taking the time to view my article. Today I will be talking about the new mechanic in the game known as Break ride. Before anything I would like to introduce myself and talk about some of my achievements so that it may give me some credibility. If you don’t already recognize me, my name is Thanh Ly and I am part of Team TKR if you know the team and not me. Although we have not been part of the ARG scene, we have been part of the competitive scene since it has started in Northern America. My achievements include 1st place finish at the Bushiroad Kick-off event, 2nd Place finish at Seattle World Championship regional qualifiers in 2012, and being 1 of 16 people invited to nationals last year just falling short of worlds. Now I wish to share with you my knowledge and experience of the game.
So now let’s get to the topic at hand of Break Rides and a bit of general information about them. As many of you know Break Ride is a new mechanic introduced in trial decks 10 and 11, and we will receive more in the upcoming sets. A Break Ride is a grade 3 unit that gives +10K power to the grade 3 that rides over it at limit break 4, then usually does a unique effect that synergies with the clan. Are they good? Are they bad? Let’s talk pro and cons!
Pros and Strengths of Breakrides
Break Riding almost always gives you a strong turn to push for damage. Along with the 10K power added to your vanguard, Break Rides have strong effects such as Gancelot that gives three of your units +5K power, Ethics buster stands your rear guards for additional attacks, and Dauntless even lets you stand your vanguard again for a cost. Given that you are at limit break 4, you can ride your Break Ride unit over your Break Ride that is already in the vanguard circle continuously, and continuously receive the +10K power and break ride’s effect. Breakride units also synergies well with a clan’s strong Vanguard that it already has. An example would be Gold Paladin’s Garmore Break Riding over Gancelot lets you get a unit first to put +5K power on if you do not have 3 rear guards on the field already. Another strong feature of all the Break Ride units is that they all are 11k base which most know is huge simply because it hurts less against 20K columns. So even if you have to just kick it on your Break Ride unit, at least you’re 11k.
Cons and Weaknesses of Breakrides
I have seen many players take a first glance at the new Break Ride units and claim them to be “broken” or “overpowered” without test playing them or seeing them in action. Generally, all Break Rides have a few Cons or weaknesses to them. First off is their condition being that you need to be at Limit Break 4 and already have your break ride unit on the Vanguard circle. Similarly to cross ride it takes a minimal of four turns to pull off a Break Ride because you need to ride grades 1 through 3 first then ride another grade 3. This is huge for decks that cannot handle an early rush and cannot go off until after you Break Ride. A weakness to Break Rides is that some can be countered. An example of this going back to gold paladins , is if your opponent sees you with a Gancelot Vanguard, they can simply kill off your rearguards before putting you at limit break so you do not have 3 units to put the +5K power on when you Break Ride. Then if you use the combo I mentioned earlier and ride Garmore to get a 3rd unit to put power on, your opponent doesn’t have to worry about continuous Break Rides anymore unless you re-ride another Break Ride unit. So in this scenario, your opponent can counter you by not letting you have 3 rear guards to put power on with Gancelot. Another Con I would like to point out is that believe it or not, some Break Rides are just not that good in general or bad in common situations. From the example I just mentioned, if your opponent kills off your rear guards so you don’t have units to put power on and you only have another Gancelot to Break Ride over your Break Ride, it will simply give your vanguard +10K power and 1 or 2 units +5k which is not that overwhelming. In this case, Break Riding over your Break ride would give you somewhat of a push, but it won’t have much of an impact or put you in a better position. One more example of a weak Break Ride when you are only have your Break Ride unit to Ride over your Break Ride is Dauntless Drive Dragon. Dauntless Drive Dragon somewhat combos well with The End but is another example of a weak Break Ride when all you have is another Break Ride unit to Ride due to Dauntless’ heavy cost.
Overview of Pros and Cons
-Provide a strong turn to push
-Has great synergy with a clan’s already strong Vanguards
-11K power base
-Limit Break 4 condition
-Requires a minimal of 4 turns to pull off (slow)
-Can be countered
-Some Break Rides are not that Strong
How will it affect the Meta?
Break Ride units definitely bring a new component to the game. Not only do you need to watch when you put your opponent at Limit Break more than ever, you need to worry about multiple effects going off at once. So I highly advise you research what the competitive clans do, going into a big tournament or at least read the cards that you don’t know. Players will have to worry about being able to handle turns that their opponents Break Ride and also how to counter them before and after their opponent Break Rides. Besides the great amount of pressure Break Rides bring to decks, they also slightly slow them down. Like I mentioned before, it takes a minimal amount of 4 turns to pull off a Break Ride given that you are at limit break 4 which is slow in my opinion just to pull off a break Ride. If you cannot top deck another grade 3 to ride over your Break Ride unit, you are practically stuck with an 11k vanilla vanguard. On the flip side of that scenario, Break riding late game can be game changing or even end the game.
I believe we will definitely see Break Rides in competitive play but it will not dominate the meta. Some decks benefit more than others playing them while other decks such as Majesty and The Blood does not even need them. A big question Cross Ride decks needs to ask is “Do I value Cross Ride more or Break Ride more?” Splashing in your clan’s Break Ride, main vanguard, and it’s Cross Ride in my opinion clumps up too much and causes some inconsistency even though it could work if you pull it off in the correct order. With that said I believe we will see a good mix of decks with and without Break Rides because decks such as Majesty, Tsukuyomi, and The End are out there at their full potential without a ban list. Most of the Break Ride units seem too strong on paper but after test playing them, I feel they’re at where they should be. They are strong, but a bit slow and could have an impact when used at the right time but not if used wrong. I believe that they are a good addition to the game but will not break the meta.
Thank you again for checking out what I have to say and allowing me to share my knowledge with you from my experiences. I hope this helps you in your understanding of the game if you did not know something I mentioned and it better prepares you for what is to come. By the reader's request I can do another article on just in depth combos of Break Rides in specific clans!